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Benjamin Schmidt

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Benjamin Schmidt Obituary
LCpl Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt, 24, passed away on Thursday, October 6, 2011 while fighting as a Marine Scout Sniper in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Born in San Antonio, Texas, Benjamin was the only son of doctors David Richard Schmidt and Becky L Whetstone. Benjamin attended Alamo Heights schools with his sister Casey Marie Schmidt, 21, and played Varsity Football for Alamo Heights High School until his 2006 graduation. He attended Texas Christian University and was a devout brother of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Benjamin joined the Marines in 2008 and was trained at San Diego's Camp Pendleton. Following his graduation, Benjamin entered Sniper training and excelled as a marksmen. His first deployment was on the USS Bonhomme Richard, his second in Afghanistan. Following this tour, Benjamin fell in love with Taylor Ryan of California, and with her, blossomed into a responsible and compassionate man. With his lifelong passion for military history, Benjamin planned to become a History Professor following his Marine service, and was seriously considering a career in politics. He was itching to begin the next phase of his life, and in his last conversation to his family he talked about settling in a city he loved, Washington, D.C. and starting a new life with Taylor. In September 2011, Benjamin left for his second tour in Afghanistan- one that would take him right to the end of his four-year service. Days into his tour, on the tenth anniversary of September 11th, Benjamin posted a message online to his friends and family. He stated that they were what he was fighting for, not the policies of the war. Whether he or anyone else supported why they were there, he stood strong to protect those beside him, and those waiting for him at home. He humbly accepted his role and responsibilities. Several weeks later, while patrolling with his platoon, Benjamin, serving by choice in the most dangerous position, as leader and on point, was shot and killed. With his humor, charisma, optimism, enthusiasm, grace, passion and loyalty, Benjamin impacted people in an extraordinary way. He received these awards: Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Valor, Combat Action Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment, Sea Service Deployment, Afghan Campaign Ribbon x2 with a double Bronze star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defensive Service Medal, NATO medal- ISAF Afghanistan and Purple Heart. He wanted to be a teacher, but he accomplished that without realizing it. His special magic guided so many to happiness and laughter. Benjamin's family and friends look forward to learning something new from him everyday. Survivors include his mother, Becky Whetstone and her partner, John Cheairs; father and stepmother, David and Teresa Schmidt; sister, Casey Marie Whetstone Schmidt; maternal grandmother, Carolyn Whetstone; Aunt Martha, Aunt BK, Uncle Bud and Aunt Kim; paternal grandparents Harold Boyd and Josephine Schmidt; Aunt Marilyn, Aunt Carolyn; step-grandparents Jobo and Corky McCorquodale; Aunt Jan, Uncle Kenny, and Uncle Jimmy; numerous beloved cousins; the love of his life, Taylor Ryan; and countless friends, including Jeremy Laster and Blake Johnson.

Graveside Service
2:30 p.m., Friday
October 14, 2011
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd. San Antonio, TX 78209

Memorial Service
4:00 p.m., Friday
October 14, 2011
Pearl Stables
312 Pearl Pkwy
San Antonio, TX 78209

For those interested in honoring his memory, please make a contribution to The Benjamin W. Schmidt Memorial Scholarship Fund at Texas Christian University , TCU Box 297012 Ft. Worth, TX 76129.

Published in Express-News from Oct. 13 to Oct. 14, 2011
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